Report of the Chair of the Retired Members Committee, 2020-2021

July 10, 2021
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The Retired Members Committee represents approximately 700 retired faculty and librarians at the University of Toronto. All newly retired faculty and librarians are automatically members of UTFA when they retire and initially pay no dues.

The Retired Members Committee met, virtually, three times in the fall term. We also hosted our 3rd Annual Retiree Reception: Welcome to New Members virtually. Although we all missed the opportunity to socialize in person, retirees who attended said they felt it was a successful and safe alternative option for meeting, given the public health restrictions in place during the pandemic. Our speaker, Gary Kawaguchi, spoke on a topic of great importance to retirees, “Benefits Literacy including Health Benefits.” Overall, Gary confirmed the importance of health benefits for retirees and the positive aspects of our University of Toronto health benefits plan.

During the Committee meetings, we enjoyed lively and discerning discussions focusing on:

  • Trends in public sector benefits in Ontario;
  • Developing stronger links with the University’s Senior College and Senior College Centre;
  • Academic freedom challenges on campus;
  • Protecting and valuing our health benefits plan, especially in light of the challenges COVID-19 has created for retirees; and
  • Engaging with UTFA’s retiree community. 

The Committee nominated Kent Weaver for the CURAC/ARUCC Tribute Award of College and University Retiree Associations of Canada /Associations de retraités des universités et collèges du Canada. The nomination was successful and the award was presented at the CURAC 2021 Virtual Assembly on April 15. Congratulations, Kent!

As the Chair of the Retired Members Committee, I serve on UTFA’s Executive Committee and on the Board of Management of the University’s Senior College Centre. I also communicate with UTFA’s Retired Members Constituency by sending out a fall and spring email with an update on events and academic and health news. 

Many thanks to the members of the committee: Ed Barbeau, Elinor Fillion, Helen Grad, Lino Grima, Mary Alice Guttman, Brenda Mallouk, Suzanne Meyers Sawa, Angela Miles, Kent Weaver, Jun Nogami and Terezia Zorić.

In memoriam: The Retired Members Committee has learned since the 2020 Annual General Meeting of the death of the following UTFA retirees: F. Michael Barrett, Eleazar Birnbaum, Rashmikant C. Desai, Alice Eriks-Brophy, Michael Joy, Kenneth A. Lantz, Bangalore Ramaswami, and Ezra Schabas.

Geraldine (Jody) Macdonald 
Chair, Retired Members Committee